Production Information (Cont'd)
Sam Rockwell, CAPTAIN KLENZENDORF
"Who am I and why am I here talking to a bunch of little titty-grabbers
instead of leading my men
towards glorious death? Great question. I've asked it myself every day since
Operation Screw-Up, where I lost
a perfectly good eye in a totally preventable enemy attack."
As Captain Klenzendorf, the cheekily imperious trainer of Hitler Youth troops
who is at various times
Jojo's idol, nemesis and confidante, Sam Rockwell once again shows his expansive
range. Coming off an Oscar
for his portrait of a small-town cop in THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING,
MISSOURI and acclaim for
his portrayal of the legendary Bob Fosse in television's FOSSE/VERDON, Rockwell
brings both a comic
outrageousness and a human touch to the Nazi warrior who has one eye, zero faith
in the military command and a
growing number of secrets.
For Rockwell, the marriage of comedy and drama, of eye-rolling cynicism and
quiet rebellion in
Klenzendorf intrigued. "It's such an unusual tone that Taika had in mind for the
film," he muses. "You start out
thinking: is this film really going to have a pro-Nazi kid as the protagonist?
Then you find the story is truly about
tolerance and family and humanity and I think it's a very beautiful,
Rather than look to historical Nazis, Rockwell looked instead to classic
comedians for inspiration. "I
looked at Bill Murray and Walter Matthau," he laughs. "Klenzendorf is German and
he's got one eye and he's
gay-but other than that, he is a lot like Matthau in BAD NEWS BEARS."
Much as there is an inanity to the character, Rockwell especially likes that
there is more to Klenzendorf
than meets the eye. "I really love roles that have a dichotomy to them and
Klenzendorf has more than one thing
going on. He has his own secrets. For one thing he's a gay Nazi, which though
they existed is not a phrase you
hear very often, so I found it fascinating to work with that juxtaposition."
Rockwell also found inspiration in his cast mates. "Stephen Merchant was
killing me with his ad-libs, the
way he and Taika could just riff and have us all in stitches," he says. "And
then Rebel Wilson, wow, is she
hilarious. Her comedy is funny and weird and so original."
Klenzendorf's more than right-hand-man, Freddie Finkel-who is 100% devoted to
Germany, but even
more so to Klenzendorf due to the unspoken relationship between them- was
another bit of unexpected casting.
Taking the role is Alfie Allen, best known as the aggrieved Theon Greyjoy in
GAME OF THRONES.
"This role is unlike anything I've done before," Allen notes. "It's a risky,
exciting idea and I hope it will
do what art should do, provoke different emotions in every kind of person out
Allen loved having the chance to collaborate so closely with Rockwell. "The
opportunities we had daily
to improvise and just have fun were amazing," he says. "If you'd have asked me
before if there was one person
who I'd most like to work with it would have been Sam. It was a dream come true
and even better, we really got
along, and the whole dynamic was fantastic."
The family atmosphere on the set made it that much easier for all the actors
to take risks, says Allen.
"Taika is so passionate that it permeates through to everybody else," Allen
observes. "He likes to have a good
time, but he also likes to work hard and go deep, so for him, it's all about
building trust and creating an
atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable. That brought out the best in us
Taika Waititi, ADOLF HITLER
"There's no reason to let that thing in the attic ruin your life.
You could actually use it to your advantage."
Waititi himself takes on one of the film's central roles as Jojo's imaginary
pal and advisor Adolf.
"I wasn't my first choice for the role," Waititi laughs, "and I wasn't the
obvious choice. At first, we went
out to a few different actors and maybe it's something that makes people
nervous, and it probably should, but a lot
of actors didn't feel that comfortable with it. For me, it was fun because I
didn't base him really at all on the
historical Hitler. He's a figment of Jojo's imagination so his knowledge of the
world is limited to what a 10-yearold understands. He's the little devil on
Jojo's shoulder, basically. He's also a bit of a projection of Jojo's heroes
all combined, including his father."
While Waititi incorporates the infamous Hitler schtick-the raging, autocratic
language and over-the-top
gestures-his Hitler is also infused with Jojo's boyish joy, until he starts to
unravel at the imaginary seams. "I
decided to just play him as a stupider version of myself-if that's possible-but
with a Hitler moustache," says
Jojo's fantasy version of Hitler is hardly the historical figure. Instead,
he's a loony, larger-than-life
mashup of Jojo's own impulses, desires, things he's read or overheard and his
yearning for a father figure.
"Jojo's version of Adolf can actually sometimes be quite nice, which might
seem a bit weird because he is Hitler,
but at other times he's properly scary," describes Davis. "Taika was really
amazing at playing that, where he could
be so funny and then suddenly, he'll just start staring at you intensely. Taika
is such a super positive and upbeat
person, but when he's Hitler he can really seem evil."
The first time Davis saw Waititi in costume, he was hit with a serious chill.
"I went into Taika's room to
ask a question and he was Hitler! My mouth fell open because I'd never seen a
life-size Hitler. I'd seen him on a
tiny iPad but seeing him as twice the size of me was quite terrifying," he
As Jojo matures, Hitler shifts in sync with his evolving mind. "I started out
giving Adolf a certain
posture, but throughout the film his posture grows kind of sadder and sadder and
a bit more like he's being
weighed down," Waititi describes. "He's very light in the beginning, like Jojo,
but by the end of the film he's just
this sad, sad despot."
Rebel Wilson, FRAULEIN RAHM
"Now get your things together, kids, it's time to burn some books!"
Providing deadpan comic relief throughout Jojo Rabbit is Fraulein Rahm,
played by Rebel Wilson, the
Jungvolk instructor who teaches the girls how to perform their "womanly duties"
in war time but dreams of
joining the frontlines herself. The Australian comic star known for her ability
to bring characters with a
hilariously clueless innocence to life. Fraulein Rahm follows in this tradition,
ever-willing to believe every
absurd Nazi myth that makes the rounds.
When Waititi showed Wilson the script and asked her to bring her own touches
to the highly unusual
character, she was thrilled. "It's not every day you get sent a comedy script
that is both funny and powerful, so I
immediately wanted to be part of it," she says. "What I like about Taika's style
is that his sense of comedy is very
natural - and unusual."
Wilson also had a blast with Rockwell. "I'm a huge fan of his and he's so
good at what he does, but also
the nicest guy. So apart from having to be Nazis, it was really cool to work
with him," she quips.
Despite her satiric portrait of a woman who questions absolutely nothing she
hears, Wilson notes that
Fraulein Rahm is representative of many German women who took lead roles in the
"The movie is set towards the end of WWII, when a lot of German men had died,
so women were allowed
to do jobs that were previously held by men," Wilson explains. "This really did
happen: by 1945 it was all-hands-
on-deck and women were doing whatever they could. Fraulein Rahm serves in every
way she can: teaching girls
their womanly duties, giving Jojo physical therapy, then manning a machine gun."
Wilson's fearless improvisational skills and understanding of how to balance
her character's absurd
oblivion with its impact on the world was a great fit with the film's mix of
tones, says Neal. "Rebel often had the
whole crew in stitches," he says. "She ad-libbed, she brought in her own lines
every day and that's the way that
Taika most loves to work."
Stephen Merchant, CAPTAIN HERMAN DEERTZ
"We were just Heil-Hitlering each other, and we're about to conduct a random
-Captain Herman Deertz
Perhaps the most hilariously dark and frightening character of all in Jojo
Rabbit is Captain Herman
Deertz of the Falkenheim Gestapo, who meticulously investigates reports of
hidden Jews and resistors. The tricky
role is embodied by English comic actor and writer Stephen Merchant, renown for
co-writing and co-directing
with Ricky Gervais the hugely influential British series THE OFFICE, co-writing
and starring in EXTRAS with
Gervais, his HBO comedy series "Hello Ladies," and directing his most recent
film FIGHTING WITH MY
Merchant appreciated the nearly-impossible needle Waititi threaded in the
screenplay. "He took
something that on the surface is bleak and found a way to inject it with humor,
emotion and heart," he says. "I
found the script had a charged, satirical edge in the vein of say DR.
STRANGELOVE and other black comedies
that confront heavy subject matters by making them very funny."
Though this is their first collaboration, Merchant had an inkling he and
Waititi would be on the same
wavelength. "I knew that I probably shared a common sensibility with him, both
in terms of our senses of humor
and our performance styles...and I wasn't disappointed. Taika was very
collaborative and indulged me greatly,
allowing me to kind of play around with the character and improvise lines."
Part of Merchant's aim was to keep Captain Deertz threatening while also
within the farcical tone of the
film. He hopes the character reminds people of just how outrageous cults of
personality can become. "There is
something laughable about the worship of this little man with his little
moustache who looks like an angry
accountant and that's one of the things that Taika plays with in the film," he
observes. "There's a sense of how
people can be swept up by, for lack of a better word, bullshit. It's something
still resonating right now. We still
see people all over the world being swept up in these things-especially when
there's a uniform and an identity
involved-so it seems well worth satirizing."
"I do think the film might ruffle some feathers but I hope people will see
that it's also quite a beautiful,
timely story about a boy learning to think for himself, to not swallow hook,
line and sinker what he's been told
but to question what he sees happening," he concludes.
RECREATING WORLD WAR II-ERA GERMANY
"The Russians, Jojo, they're coming! And the Americans from the other way,
and England and China
and Africa and India. The whole world is coming!"
Like the story, the design of Jojo Rabbit presents the world through a
10-year-old's confined but vivid
lens, full of bright colors and bucolic beauty even amid the oppression and
destruction of Nazi Germany. From
the start, Waititi knew he wanted to take audiences beyond a nostalgic, "wartime
"In a lot of WWII-era films, everyone dresses in brown and gray and it just
feels kind of sad and dated.
But if you look at the fashions of the time, though, there was really lots of
bright color and high style. We didn't
want to push too far into something surreal, but we wanted to really bring out
the color and energy you don't
usually see," says Waititi.
To create Jojo's multihued world, Waititi assembled a tight-knit,
award-winning crew led by director of
photography Mihai Malaimare (THE MASTER, THE HATE U GIVE), Oscar-nominated
production designer Ra
Vincent (THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, THOR: RAGNAROK) and costume designer
Rubeo (THOR: RAGNAROK, AVATAR).
Malaimare notes that recently rediscovered color footage of WWII-era Germany
utterly altered his view
of an era that in most people's minds unspools in black-and-white. To see that
world in color-the way Jojo,
Rosie and Elsa would have experienced it-gave it a whole new dimension and
"One of the things Taika and I talked about in the beginning is that our
perception of that time can play
tricks on us," Malaimare explains. "We have seen so many muted period films from
WWII, whether in black &
white or in more somber colors, that we are shocked to see such a vibrant
spectrum of color. But that was the
reality and once we decided to reflect this, it was an idea that circulated
through the set design and the costumes
and helped to set the tone Taika wanted for the story. It feels a little strange
to the audience only because we are
not used to it, but the color I think makes it more real to us."
Adds Ra Vincent: "We all felt we had a unique opportunity here to create a
fresh look for a WWII-era
film. Since the audience is seeing through the eyes of Jojo, our creative
palette couldn't use just color, but
heightened color and we could make the environments more joyously abstract. At
Jojo's age things are a little
more rosy-tinted and the world seems bigger and more amazing. So, we really set
out to try to recreate this
feeling, the feeling we all have in childhood, but within 1940s Germany."
Malaimare also pored through authentic images of children from those times,
especially the work of
Magnum Photos founder Henri Cartier-Bresson. Cartier-Bresson began photographing
Europe on the brink of
massive change in the early 1930s. Later, after escaping from a German
prisoner-of-war labor camp, he
documented the populace of Europe during and after the Allied liberation. His
photographs of children evoke a
particularly surreal feeling, starkly contrasting their spontaneous playfulness
and sheer joy of being alive against
the most unchildlike environments of war and ruin.
When it came to Waititi's imaginary Hitler, Waititi and Malaimare decided on
photographic technique that highlights how normal it feels to Jojo to converse
with this friend he's conjured in his
mind. "Taika and I came very fast to the conclusion that we should shoot this
Hitler as a real character because
the more real he is, the more you see through Jojo's eyes," Malaimare
Using the Arri Alexa SXT family of digital 35mm cameras, Malaimare took a
unique approach to the
lenses. Rather than stick to standard anamorphic 2X lenses, he used the Hawk
V-light squeeze anamorphic 1.3X
lenses that give a more organic feel. "We found this technique of using
anamorphic 1.3X lenses gave us the color
saturation we wanted. Skin tones get this velvety quality, so it feels very
alive without being too overly
cinematic," the cinematographer explains. "This too contributes to the film's
tone. And since the Hawk lenses
are made in Germany it was helpful to be shooting nearby."
To bring Jojo's fictional hometown of Falkenheim to life, the production
headed for Zatec and Ustek,
small towns in the Czech Republic-in an area that was at times considered part
of Germany and was under
German occupation in WWII. Here, in a place that was never bombed, pre-war
buildings have kept alive that old world, storybook look.
"We chose these towns because it had so much character and it felt like the
most German of all the
Czech towns we visited, with lots of German-style baroque architecture," says
Malaimare found the Czech Republic gave him the creative freedom a
cinematographer craves. "Often
on a period film, you're trying to hide signs of the modern world with camera
angles and lighting but here,
everything looked so good and authentic and there was so much detail in every
direction, it allowed us so many
more options. You could barely tell it was the 21st century because there were
no wires or air conditioning units
or anything that takes you out of time. So, we had the beautiful luxury of being
able to move freely and shoot in
360 degrees and it was quite amazing."
Most of the interior sets were built on stages within Prague's Barrandov
Studios, a weighty spot for a
WWII satire because during the occupation, that very same studio churned out
frightening Nazi propaganda. "It
felt like a kind of poetic justice to make Jojo Rabbit here," notes Vincent, "as
well as a kind of blessing of the
ground and clearing a new path for anti-racist and anti-fascist beliefs to
The crux of Vincent's work was designing the Betzler house, where much of the
action takes place. "We
wanted Jojo and Rosie's house to have a very different kind of palette from
other period films," Vincent explains.
"The building itself is a typically baroque, terraced, stone house but we
decided that in furnishing and decorating
it, the Betzlers would be very switched on and with the times. That era between
1930 and 1945 was actually a
revolutionary one for style in Europe, despite the war. And Rosie's a very
stylish woman, so her house has a lot of
flair, with very modern, Art Deco designs."
"The interior of the house was incredible for us. Ra's sets were so rich that
we could shoot in every
direction and it was pure joy," says Malaimare.
However, hidden deep within the lightness of the house is Elsa's dark,
cramped space behind the wall,
which forges an opposite feeling, mirroring the nearly unbearable tension under
which she is forced to live. It
also gave Malaimare one of his most serious technical challenges. "For lighting
that space, we used only candles,
gas lamps and a few 5-watt LEDs. But we were also using T1 lenses and when you
shoot at that speed in such
low light, there are extreme limitations, especially on the actor's movements.
It was very difficult work, so we
were excited to be able to get those shots," he says.
As the events in the film grow darker, so too do the colors. Vincent
explains, "For the happier, more
playful moments in the film, we used a diverse palette of oversaturated colors.
Then, we taper those off as more
drama comes into play. Most of the film takes place in the Autumn so we also had
the chance to bring lush greens
sprinkled with gorgeous reds, oranges and pinks into our street scenes."
DRESSING FOR WORLD WAR II
For the costumes, Mayes Rubeo-known for designs spanning from the ancient
Mayan realm of
APOCALYPTO to the fictional world of AVATAR to the Marvel universe of THOR:
worked closely in synch with Vincent.
Waititi had observed in his research that people tended to dress far more
formally than today, perhaps out
of fatalism, and he wanted to capture that sense of elegant beauty that
persisted. "Towards the end of the war,
people thought every day could be their last, so they wore their very best
clothes and put on all their makeup," he
explains. "If they were going to die, they wanted to look good."
As with Vincent, Waititi impressed upon Rubeo that he wanted a look for the
film that was unexpected
and filled with the spirit of childhood. "Taika always said, 'I want a WWII
world that doesn't look like any other,
because this movie is seen through the eyes of a 10-year-old,'" recalls Rubeo.
"At that age, I think you remember
everything but with a kind of brightness to it all. Everything looks like a
Spring morning. For me, I felt that what
Taika was after was a lot like what the Italian Neorealists were doing in the
40s, but in color. The film has all
those Neorealist qualities where there are sunny and charming moments but also
very dramatic moments, and the
mood can go from funny to tragic in a snap."
The core of Rubeo's work was the heartbeat of Jojo's world: the polished and
chic Rosie Betzler. Rubeo
rummaged through the most magical Italian costume houses for choice vintage
pieces. But she also created
several of Rosie's blouses and dresses by hand to bring out even more of her
"Rosie is this wonderful, extroverted character whose life is like a
provocation because she's so
determined and not down at all with Hitler. For me she was the anchor from which
all the other designs came
from," says Rubeo. "We talked about her having an artistic background and I took
that as my starting point.
Also, there's a feeling that before the war the Betzlers lived well. Even if now
they only have one potato to eat
it's still served on a fancy tablecloth because Rosie still believes in the good
Rosie's look had to be so distinctive that the audience recognizes her, in a
flash, in the scene that is a
devastating emotional turning point of the story. "The butterfly seemed to
express who she is, and we used a very
distinctive pair of shoes, which stand out for a lady in that era. I think it is
more powerful when you just see the
shoes and make the connection to the butterfly in this moment," says Rubeo.
For Mihai Malaimare, there was no need for the camera to pull back in that
moment. "We worked with
Mayes throughout to prepare for this," he explains. "So, with the camera we
always tried to make sure the
audience was aware of Rosie's shoes. For example, you really notice them when
she's dancing by the river in
that light moment so that later we don't need to show any more."
Jojo of course mainly wears his Jungvolk uniform which Rubeo based on
authentic, historical designs.
"We found some vintage uniforms in Berlin, but we had to make a lot of them in
different sizes for all the extras,
so we made our own. When you see Jojo in his uniform at home it is like he is a
boy trying to be the policeman
of his household," she describes.
For Waititi's absurdist rendition of Hitler, Rubeo also hewed to the infamous
basic brown Nazi Party
uniform. But she kept this Adolf in a more voluminous pair of riding pants that
both emphasize his imaginary
nature and his roiling insecurities.
Throughout much of the film, Rubeo stayed true to the austere and tailored
look favored by the German
military. But she had a chance to get glitzier with Captain Klenzendorf, who
secretly fancies himself a uniform
designer-and ultimately breaks out of his confines to bring to life his
unorthodox dream outfit.
"Captain Klenzendorf lives in a world of his own," laughs Rubeo. "He has all
this flamboyant creativity
that we wanted to give expression to at the end, when he explodes onto the
scene. Taika brought in lots of ideas
and I knew he wanted something homemade, colorful and funny, but also a little
bit heroic. The main thing for
me was that it had to feel like a uniform made by someone who knows almost
nothing about the rules of design.
That was fun to do!"
With so many designs that, much like the film, veer from the historic to the
utterly unique, Rubeo spent
intensive hours with Waititi-which she says never stopped being a pleasure. "Taika
communication and I loved it, too, because when you spend so much time together
that's when you're able to
create something that harmonizes with all the other elements, which was so
important for Jojo."
Visual effects supervisor Jason Chen also worked to extend Jojo's world. He
especially had his work cut
out for him in the film's climactic battle scene as full-scale combat comes out
of the abstract to Jojo's street. "We
wanted the movie to break out into absolute chaos with tanks roaming all over
the place and lots of gunfire and
destruction," Chen describes. "For most of the film, we've been in Jojo's
imagination, with his playful view of
war, but when the battle hits the town, we're suddenly struck with the reality
of what war really is. We wanted
the frightening atmosphere and noise of it to feel very real."
"In some ways it feels very visceral and real, but we also created something
that becomes a kind of
magical and surreal moment in the film," notes Malaimare of the climactic scene.
One of Chen's favorite whimsical scenes is when Jojo and Elsa converse in the
attic, growing closer in
spite of themselves, with a glittering nightscape hanging in the sky behind
them. "There's one little single
window above them reflecting bombs going off in the distance. We used a matte
painting that looks almost like
stars above them to help create this romantic but heart-breaking moment," Chen
Like the rest of the crew, Chen loved being invited daily to take his
creativity to the nth degree. "Taika is
the ultimate team player," he describes. "He will take anyone's suggestion on
the crew. He truly believes in
saying to everyone: here is outline of my idea, help me to sculpt it."
THE FINAL TOUCHES: SCORING FOR WARTIME
"The Reich is dying. We're going to lose this war and then what will you do?
All I'm saying is that life is a gift and therefore we must celebrate it."
Waititi and his editor, Tom Eagles, (WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, HUNT FOR THE
WILDERPEOPLE) collaborated closely with Oscar-winning composer, Michael
Giacchino who while editing the
film created a score that works hand-in-hand with the spirit of the film,
flowing through the full spectrum of
"I've been a fan of Michael's work for a long time, especially his
incredible, heartfelt score for Pixar's
UP," said Waititi.
Known for creating the immediately recognizable scores for seven of Pixar's
Giacchino has also become one of the most sought-after composers for
mega-blockbusters such as STAR TREK
BEYOND, SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING and WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES. But he says
his score for Jojo Rabbit may be his favorite to date.
"I'm proud of being part of a film that isn't afraid to speak its truth and
put something out there that
might raise some eyebrows, but I hope will lead to some really great and
important conversations," he says.
"Taika just ran with this crazy idea in a very beautiful way and I think if you
want to say something that's true
and necessary in this world you have to take some big risks."
Waititi continued, "His work on Jojo Rabbit elevated the film to a new level,
increasing the emotional
resonance and tying the themes, characters and world of the movie together. It
was a highly collaborative and
instinctive process working with him."
Though Giacchino usually avoids reading scripts, preferring to absorb the
more direct emotions of
footage, in this case Waititi asked him to take a look so they could talk about
it. Giacchino was very glad he did.
"I loved it so much," he says, "and knowing Taika's other movies I knew he would
bring just the right touch. He
really understands how comedy and tragedy are intertwined. The best comedy has
always come out of the hardest
human situations and Nazi Germany is one of the hardest situations in history."
Once he'd taken in the power of the script, he and Waititi talked tone. "We
both agreed we wanted to be
straight-up, pure and true with the music," Giacchino says. "Taika didn't need
the music to be comical because
the film was already so funny. The first question I always ask is, 'what feeling
do you want people to walk away
with from this movie?' For me, that feeling was Jojo going from a closed-off,
blinders-on attitude about the
world to having his worldview smashed open to starting to see everything in a
very different way. That was the
It was clear to Giacchino that just as the visuals emanate from Jojo's
innocence, exuberance and naivete,
so too should the music be driven by his emotionally volatile character. "I felt
the music should always be with
him, so the first thing I did was to write an 11-minute suite that showed the
course of his character. Although
there are moments when Rosie or Elsa will change the music, the score is all
primarily drawn from Jojo's
emotions. The main melody is played throughout the movie in several different
ways. While it begins as a march
it later becomes an adagio during the battle as Jojo's own nationalism begins to
transform into something else."
Giacchino was ready to think outside the box as well. This included
everything from writing songs with
lyricist Elyssa Samsel for Jojo and his compatriots to sing in the Jungvolk camp
to using his connection with Paul
McCartney to explain why he should absolutely grant permission for Waititi to
use the German version of the
Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand" for a scene about hysteria for Hitler.
Still, his foundation lay in classical influences. "I knew I wanted a very
European score, something that
felt like if you were wandering down the street in 1939 Germany, you might hear
that music playing out
someone's window. Chopin, Liszt and Satie were all influences. But most of all
what inspired me is constantly
thinking, 'what is the film asking for?' You just have to try to take on those
really hard emotions and feel them in
your gut. That's the challenge of a film like this."
Those emotions led to the choice of a pared-down ensemble: a 22-piece
orchestra with a string quartet at
its center, as well as piano, a couple of guitars, some brass and percussion.
"For me, it's a really nice change to
work with a small, intimate group like that," Giacchino says. "I'm used to
working with a 100-piece orchestra,
but I personally feel the smaller the orchestra, the more emotional the sound."
While the film breaks out into the Beatles and then Bowie (utilizing the
German version of Bowie's song
"Heroes"-a song about the Berlin wall, which Bowie scholar David Buckley called
"perhaps pop's definitive
statement of the potential triumph of the human spirit over adversity"), the
score contrasts with those
"Having a more traditional score with the Beatles and Bowie moments I think
makes it even stranger and
stronger," Giacchino observes. "Somehow it all works together, and I don't
entirely know how. I think perhaps
it's because everything was chosen from exactly the right emotions for the
scenes. We did face a pretty big
problem of convincing people to let us use their songs for a story about Hitler.
I've had the incredible opportunity
to work before with Paul McCartney, who is one of my heroes, so I was part of a
group of people who all
approached him to explain that this movie isn't what it might seem and it's
really a powerful statement against
hate. In the end, it all worked out and Taika got the songs he wanted."
Indeed, for Jojo Rabbit to succeed, what it always needed was for enough
people to believe in what it was
trying to do, however audaciously. In the end, as much as Jojo Rabbit showcases
the tragically absurd realities of
authoritarianism and nationalistic fervor, as well as the personal wages of
prejudice and hate, the film equally
reminds us of our human connection and the simple responsibility we all have to
do what we can...including
simply trying to be good to one another.
Waititi sums up: "This feels like exactly the right time to tell this
story...because this is a case where you
don't want it to be too late to tell it."
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